Design details: United Wardrobe

Aaron Harinck
6 min readMar 1, 2020

Dissecting the United Wardrobe Android app (Android version 10)

I and a few others were given a school assignment to dissect the core of the United Wardrobe mobile app and write an article about it. After reading it, feel free to share your thoughts and feedback.

The purpose of the United Wardrobe app is to let it’s users buy and sell (usually fashionable) secondhand clothing. The app also has some social features meant to elevate its marketplace status to a real social marketplace. It’s their mission to make secondhand clothing the standard, everywhere in the world; according to their website. Let’s take a peep at the UI / UX of their app to see if they are indeed on the right track to world domination!

Launch, or lack thereof

3… 2… 1.. Liftoff!

Everything surrounding the first launch of an app heavily influences your first impression. Unfortunately, the app was somehow unable to start when I launched it for the first time.

But small hiccups occasionally happen to even the best of us, so I eventually continued my little adventure and closed the app, cleared my cache and launched it again.

App does not start, it shows an error message
Houston, we have a problem.

My tenacity was rewarded as the app launched smoothly this time, and I was greeted with a couple of moving background images and short descriptive sentences about the app.

The app finally launches
This time, it’s a success!

Sign up

You can sign up with your email or your Facebook account.
When you sign up via email you are only required to give your full name, email (duh) and password. It reduces friction by cutting and postponing certain requirements. For instance, you don’t have to fill in a username, as the app randomly generates one for you. And you can always change it later in the app settings.

The inline validation automatically kicks in when you have made an obvious mistake with your input (e.g. filling in an email without an @), not when you forget to fill in a field, as you might still fill it in later.

The form directly displays an error message when you type in an invalid email

When you click on the register button, it will show all the errors you might have made. If you‘ve made more than a few, the errors can be a bit harder to read and distinguish from the input labels.

Lots of error messages appear close to each other
Labels look very similar to error messages

If you still have errors after a second try, a modal will pop up with an overview of what requirements the inputs have and a support contact reference at the bottom. Surely quite handy for the less attentive users.

A modal pops up with lots of error messages
Do or do not, there is no 3rd try.

Setup

Once you have created your account, you will be able to configure some preferences.

First things first, you get a small personalized welcome. Afterward, you select your country, your shoe sizes, …

I pick my preferences, Men’s clothing and Shoe size 46
Select your preferences

The problem is, this did not work correctly for me. I selected Men’s clothing as a preference, but when I finished the setup process and was done waiting for the loading bar to finish, my results were filtered with a women’s clothing filter. It feels pointless/weird to fill in that information earlier, only to disregard it immediately after.

App shows women’s clothing
Your preferences? What preferences?

It was capable of correctly remembering my shoe and shirt sizes, so why not everything else?

Finding fashion

The homepage is like a discover-section. It should only show products based on the details that you gave during the setup-phase (e.g. shoes with size 46). Even if you reset the filter settings, the app will still show you items based on your setup-phase details. If you want to find other sizes, you should add those sizes manually to the filter settings.

Thankfully, you have lots of filter options to personalize your searches. The subcategories will change/appear depending on the main category you’ve picked, this reduces unnecessary clutter. I like that they’ve implemented various kinds of input methods, it adds some extra variety which makes the input options feel more distinct from each other. Having a price range slider (where you can also type in your custom price) feels better than having a more traditional “below €100” checkbox.

There are a ton of filter options
Lots of options

Buying fashion

Once you’ve found what you were looking for, you can add it to your shopping cart (or make bids if the sellers allow it). If you have clicked the “add to cart” button, the button will then change in a checkout button, so if you don’t want to continue your shopping spree you will be able to directly continue to the checkout.

The app then lets you choose your delivery method per item. Fortunately, Instead of disabling the continue button or giving you an error when you forget to add a delivery method, it will instead go over each product and ask for a delivery method.

When you delete a product from your cart it will offer to save that item so you can return to it later if you change your mind. And the back arrow icon allows you to easily return to a previous step.

The shopping cart in action
Don’t mind the usernames

Selling fashion

Selling an item is a longer process than buying an item, you will have to fill in some details about the product you want to sell first. But the United Wardrobe app does a good job of guiding you throughout the process. It offers advice and sometimes gives more explanation regarding some input labels. Thankfully, the app only asks for permission when it actually needs them.

When you add product pictures for the first time, it will ask for app permissions
Detailed input labels make the process easier
Selecting colors can be a bit tiring

If the app thinks it recognizes your product, you will get a slider with a recommended price range. You can, of course, fill in your own custom price if you disagree with the price range the app recommends. The app will give you useful extra visual feedback, the dynamic infobox has a green/blue color if the probability of selling your item is high, red color if it thinks you are pushing your luck way too much.

Dynamic price slider, it gives feedback based on your current price

If the app doesn’t recognize your product, it will just let you fill in a price, without judgment. Albeit with some more generic advice.

The app can’t give you feedback if it doesn’t recognize your product

Great things come in small packages, but what package will your product exactly need?

The app gives you some recommendations about this and gives each different package format a visual representation in the form of an illustration. This makes the process a lot less daunting.

App lets you choose between medium and large package
Large package is recommended for shoes

Settings

There are still some features I haven’t discussed, but I do want to point out this level of customization. Maybe not super interesting visually, but allowing users to really customize their notifications settings and more, is a big plus.

Lots of different settings options

Closing thoughts

And voila! The core dissection is now complete!
So, is the United Wardrobe app really ready for world domination? The app does a great job of guiding the user throughout the selling process, but it isn’t going to blow away anyone’s mind in terms of its overall pretty static feel along with its lack of meaningful micro-animations, and the multiple hiccups I discussed earlier really hold it back.

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